If you’ve been looking for the top spots for San Antonio engagements, this is the perfect guide! San Antonio is such an abundant city it literally has thousands of possible spots for your engagement session! This city is known for its historical landmarks, its rich, diverse culture and, how friendly and hospitable its people are. If you are planning an engagement session, this extensive engagement guide can help you narrow down a location, or locations, that best fits you and your partner.

20+Top Spots for San Antonio Engagement Pics

These are my top 27—YES, MORE than two dozen—spots for engagement pics (or proposals) in San Antonio and surrounding areas.

This is the most comprehensive list you will find on the web! I’ve divided the list either by the type of backdrop you may be looking for OR by interests that are most appealing to you as a couple. And I’ve detailed all the “know before you go” pertinent information.

—Engagement Locations By Interest

—Engagement Locations By Specific Location

Top Engagement Spots for San Antonio Engagements: History Lovers

  • San Antonio Riverwalk—Just about anywhere on the San Antonio Riverwalk is romantic enough for engagement pictures. In fact, almost the entire length of the river that flows through the city might be the top spots for San Antonio engagements. There are several specific spots that are just perfect. Since this is a very popular tourist destination, I would definitely advise having your engagement session on a weekday. There will still be people in the background, but it will be slightly more manageable. Plan for a longer session because there will be quite a bit more walking and maneuvering around people.
    • Downtown Tuesday offers parking at city-operated parking garages, parking lots, and parking meters every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • The Alamo—If you want an undeniably Texan… a puro San Antonio engagement session, then the Alamo is probably what you’re looking for. However, “wedding/engagement photography is not permitted on Alamo grounds.” So, you’ll have to suffice with shooting from a distance and having the Alamo in the background of your photos.
    • For more information, you can email info@thealamo.org
  • The Missions—The missions of San Antonio are Mission Concepción, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. (The fifth mission is the Alamo, but it’s owned by the State of Texas and not part of the National Historical Park.)
    • Sessions are only allowed Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Apply at least two weeks in advance
    • You may be required the payment of cost recovery charges and you have to show proof of liability insurance naming the United States of America as an additional insured
    • Website
  • Marriage Island— Marriage Island sits on the Riverwalk behind Hotel Contessa between Navarro and South Presa streets. It is a heart-shaped island in the river that is very small and seems awkward for an engagement or wedding, but legend has it that couples who get married there stay together forever. Marriage Islands holds the distinction as one of the world’s top 10 most romantic destination wedding locations. Since this island is so tiny, I’d definitely recommend pairing this location with one of the other top spots for San Antonio engagements to make sure you get a variety of images! It’s definitely a perfect place for a proposal though!
    • Call (210) 667-6503 to make your reservation
  • The St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio—The 10-story St. Anthony Hotel was built in 1909 and was considered one of the most luxurious hotels in the United States of the time. It hosted a wide range of film stars, royalty, and other famous guests. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is noteably famous for its “Peacock Alley” added in the 1930s. The St. Anthony Hotel has been host to a number of famous people including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Douglas MacArthur, Vice President John Nance Garner, and humorist Will Rogers. Lyndon B. Johnson spent his honeymoon there and the Newton Gang often resided there during winter months.
    • Wedding & event clients are welcome to use Peacock Alley, the pool and terrace levels at no additional charge, but must schedule with hotel event coordinator
    • All others, including hotel guests, will be charged a $1,500 fee to use these common areas; must schedule with hotel event coordinator
    • Call (210) 227-4392 for more information
    • Website

Top Engagement Spots for San Antonio Engagements: Contemporary Lovers

  • The Pearl Brewery—Okay, first off, the Pearl Brewery is gorgeous and automatically deserves to be on this list of top spots for San Antonio engagements. You can get a lot of looks here at this single location—riverwalk access, ivy walls, textured architectural elements, industrial art pieces, cobblestone streets, old-fashioned street lights, modern contemporary lighting, stone stairways, and large, towering cypress trees that are lit year-round. The downside is that the Pearl is heavily frequented by local photographers. On any given day, you can probably count upwards of five photo sessions taking place. So, if you’re looking for something unique, this is probably not the best location for you.
    • No fee
    • Photographer must have a signed photo permit on person
    • Absolutely no photography allowed in or around the Hotel Emma without explicit permission
    • Website
  • Blue Star Arts Complex—Blue Star Arts Complex is similar to the Pearl in terms of vibe, but on a lot smaller scale. This engagement location also offers riverwalk access and is just a short walk to the King William Neighborhood. If you’re looking for an engagement location with more of an urban feel, this is the place. Also, if by chance you want to paddleboard (or other non-motorized water recreation) on the San Antonio River for your engagement session, this is the ideal place! The launch and recovery ramp is on Guenther Street by San Antonio River Authority located at 100 East Guenther. You may paddle in the King William zone from Nueva Street to Alamo Street which is nearly a mile in length.
    • No fee
  • Confluence Park—Confluence Park is equal parts modern and artistic, but it still has a very natural feel to it. The paved paths are lined with native and non-native grasses and there is also riverside access. It is managed by the San Antonio River Authority (not a city park), so they don’t require a photo permit per se, but kindly suggest a $20 donation for each day of photography. You can definitely avoid the crowds here at this mostly-undiscovered, hidden little gem.
    • Open daily from sunrise to 11 p.m.
    • Photo donation strongly encouraged
    • Website
Top Engagement Spots for San Antonio Engagements:
  • Thompson Hotel—The Thompson Hotel is located in the trendsetting and newly urban-developed part of the northern reach of the San Antonio River Walk. The art in the hotel is both eclectic and eccentric, but definitely a must see. If you’re considering a shoot here, you must shoot in the Moon’s Daughter and you must finish the night eating at the hotel’s own five-star restaurant, Landrace. You will not be disappointed with any of Chef Steve McHugh’s culinary creations.
    • $1,500 photo fee for rooftop, pool, and Moon’s Daughter access (even for guests)
    • Call (210) 876-1234 for more information
    • Website
  • Eilan Hotel—The Eilan has a strict policy that only hotel guests are allowed to use the property for engagement sessions. Their procedure is for you to request the date to be photographed in writing to the general manager. If it is granted, you have to book a room for the day of and you must also pay a $500 photography fee. I’ve seen many couples get the lowkey engagement experience by just being stealthy and taking portraits by venturing up the stairs leading to the Eilan and around the gazebo in front of the hotel. But be warned! This isn’t the same luxe experience you’ll receive by actually going inside. Inside there is a beautiful marble staircase, a large fireplace, a veranda overlooking the quarry, a private gazebo with the west Texas sky in the background, and lots of oversized, comfy furniture. It has an entire European feel to it.
    • $500 photo permit and permission required
    • Room must also be booked
    • Website
  • Landa Library—The Landa Library is a hidden little gem in San Antonio located in the Monte Vista Historical District. Landa Library does not charge a fee and they have plenty of looks for your photos. There are thickets of bamboo, a flower garden, large oak trees, magnificent architecture, a great cement-sculptured gazebo, a Spanish-tiled porch, and porch pillars to die for. Engagement sessions are restricted to the outside grounds only. You do not have exclusive access, you have to work around other visitors, and there is no access to the restrooms for changing. It had been heavily frequented by other photographers, but since they changed their policy to requiring a photo permit from San Antonio’s Film Commission, that was much better. I only saw one other photographer there on the day of my shoot.
  • Tower of the Americas/Hemisfair Plaza—If you’re looking for another important piece of San Antonio’s history this is it. Tower of the Americas and Hemifair Plaza offer quite a bit. There are several beautiful water features in the plaza park.
    • Free entry, but a city photo permit is needed
      • Apply for the permit at least 10 days in advance
    • Entry to the Tower of Americas starts at $14 per adult
    • Hemisfair Plaza is open— rain or shine— seven days a week from 5:00 a.m. until midnight
    • Tower of the Americas’ hours are Monday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
    • Parking fees range from $8 to $15
    • Pets are allowed in the plaza park
  • Hays Street Bridge—Hays Street Bridge is the perfect place to get the entire San Antonio skyline in the background of your engagement pictures. The bridge is from the early-1900s and is a former railroad bridge. As are many of the other locations featured in this blog post, Hays Street Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Bexar County, Texas. For safety reasons, I would only consider this location for morning or daytime engagement sessions.
  • Japanese Tea Garden—The pavilion, waterfall, and koi ponds are all great places to take engagement photos. The gardens are perfectly-groomed with lots of beautiful stone architecture. This is a great location during non-Daylight Savings Time, but since the garden closes so early, is not really suitable for the rest of the year for sunset sessions.
    • Open 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week, 365 days a year
    • Free admission
    • No permit is needed
    • Website
  • Dominion Country Club—The Dominion Country Club provides is gorgeous throughout all the seasons. There are majestic live oaks and hills of green accented by a beautiful lake and a flowing fountain that sets the tone for a peaceful outdoor session.
    • $250 photo permit fee for non-members, no fee for members
    • Must clear your session date with the member events coordinator
    • Website

Top Engagement Spots for San Antonio Engagements: Outdoor Lovers

  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area—Imagine proposing to your partner on top of the world! This isn’t that, but it’s close! Enchanted Rock might the nearest thing to that and it is a great place to propose to your significant other. It’s a short 100-mile drive from San Antonio but soooo worth it if you and your fiancé(e)-to-be are really into the great outdoors. The views from atop the largest piece of pink granite monadnock in the United States are beyond comment. But beware, the climb to the top—The Summit Trail—is not made without careful consideration. Heels won’t work unless they’re in your backpack. Enchanted Rock is one of my favorite places in Texas and is certainly one of the top spots for San Antonio engagements.
    • Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; gates close at 8:00 p.m.
    • Entrance fee is $8 per adult (unless you have a State Park Pass)
    • All trails close 30 minutes after sunset, except the Loop Trail
    • The Summit Trail may close in wet weather
    • Pets are only allowed on the Loop Trail
    • Website
  • Lost Maples State Natural Area—Also about a 100-mile drive from San Antonio, Lost Maples is specifically known for its fall color. But don’t be fooled, this state park is worth seeing any time of the year. There are a plethora of wildflowers, small waterfalls, steep canyon walls, and the scenic Sabinal River.
    • Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
      • October and November are the busiest times; the park reaches capacity daily
    • Entrance fee is $6 per adult (unless you have a State Park Pass)
    • Pets are allowed
  • Eisenhower Park—If you’re wanting to propose in the middle of the country, but you’re not really feeling a long drive (or hike), you’ve got options. Eisenhower Park is located on the north side of San Antonio just outside Loop 1604. The park offers many gorgeous nooks and crannies to take beautiful engagement pictures. Beware though, the last time I visited, there were no flushing restrooms, only port-o-potties.
    • Open daily from sunrise to sunset
secret list of san antonio engagement locations eisenhower park
  • Cibilo Nature Center—Located in Boerne, Cibilo Nature center offers wooded trails, a cypress-lined creek, a wetland, and a tall-grass prairie—providing near limitless backdrops for your engagement photos. This is a beautiful park right in the Texas Hill Country area. This is a gorgeous park to take photos in with wide-open spaces making it pretty easy to avoid crowds. Cibilo Nature Center is certainly a crowd-pleaser on this list of top spots for San Antonio engagements.
    • Open 8:00 a.m. through dusk, seven days per week
    • $25 permit fee for up to 10 people
    • Website
  • Landa Park—Landa Park is 51 acres of pure beauty! The park has a river, bridges, giant oak trees, park trails, a miniature train, miniature golf, and paddle boats all to aid with your engagement pictures so there’s no need to bring any of your own props. It is very popular and I would advise limiting your engagement session to weekdays only.
    • Open 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. daily
comprehensive san antonio engagement guide landa park new braunfels
  • Denman Estate—Most notable at the Denman Estate is the beautiful Korean monument, hand-crafted by artisans from our sister city Gwangju, Korea, but shooting is not allowed on the monument. There are a few paved trails, probably thousands of trees (a lot of deciduous trees and many, many oaks), deer that come out every morning and evening, and a small lake in the middle of the park complete with ducks. Again, you can shoot anywhere but on the monument, inside the estate house, and on the front porch, or in the backyard. In order to shoot inside the estate and in their backyard, a separate permit is required directly from the estate. The cost is $200 for a two-hour shoot and includes up to 10 people.
denman park engaged couple
  • San Antonio Zoo—The San Antonio Zoo would be the ideal place for engagement pictures for any animal lover. Enveloped in the 343-acre Brackenridge Park, the zoo is expansive and has over 750 species of animals, and more than 3,500 animals. Doe to the zoo’s hours, this location is not ideal for sunset sessions.
    • Open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays
    • Admission is $16.50 per adult
    • I’ve never shot here, but I’m going to guess that since this is city-owned property, you must apply for a photo permit
    • Photo permit information here
    • Apply for the permit at least 10 days in advance
    • Website
  • San Antonio Botanical Gardens—You can have your engagement session on location at the Botanical Gardens, however, you don’t have access to any indoor air conditioning. Using their public bathrooms to change is highly discouraged. You must work around guests who are visiting the center and you are limited to their operating hours.
    • Open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. March through October, Monday through Friday only, they do have extended hours until 7:00 p.m. the rest of the year
    • They do have restrictions on camera equipment to cameras with attached flash and do not allow tripods or flashes to a light stand.
    • Beginning in 2022, the Botanical Gardens started implementing a $195 photo session fee (even for members).
    • Website
  • Gruene, Texas—Yes, the entire town of Gruene is a huge set for on-location engagement photos! And the Guadalupe River is just a short walk or drive from the main attractions. Again, since this place is extremely popular and even more so in the evening hours, I’d advise that your engagement session take place on a weekday—the earlier the better. Most of the businesses will allow photography on their property without a permit, but beware that shooting on the grounds of the Gruene Mansion does require a permit. However, this is an excellent way to get away from the larger crowds a bit and not have to work so hard to keep everyone else from photobombing your engagement session. Unarguably, one of the top spots for San Antonio engagements.
Top Engagement Spots for San Antonio Engagements:
  • Bracken Village—Bracken Village is a nifty spot to take engagement photos because it’s like a little country village. There are quite a few spaces you can use as backdrops and many of the store’s owners will also let you use their storefronts; you just have to secure permission first.
    • $10 photo permit fee
      • Can either be purchased on-site or by calling ahead with credit card information
    • Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
      • You have to vacate by the time the last shop owner leaves or you’ll be locked in
    • Website

Top Engagement Spots for San Antonio Engagements: Art Lovers

  • McNay Art Museum—McNay Art Museum a very classy place to take your engagement photos (it’s also lovely for your wedding). The McNay sits on 23 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and is perfectly manicured and taken care of. It actually feels like you are on the grounds of an estate much less than a museum—mostly because you are. If you finish your engagement session early enough, you can always check out the latest exhibitions.
    • $125 photo permit required for indoors (limited spots), includes the use of outdoors
      • Indoor permits must be made three days in advance for weekday bookings or four days in advance for weekends
    • $30 photo permit required (outdoors only)
      • Outdoor permits must be purchased at least two days in advance
    • Here’s one of my engagement sessions
    • Website
mcnay art museum engagement session
  • Witte Museum—The Witte is right on the banks of the San Antonio River and they offer another opulent portrait experience. You need to purchase a photo permit, unless you’re a contracted couple, but you basically get explicit and unambiguous permission to the full campus—inside and out—to conduct the session. And, you will have a personal escort so you’ll have a staffer showing you to the gardens and galleries! You won’t have to work around any other people which is a major benefit as literally none of the other locations listed herein can offer that, with the exception to the indoors portion of the McNay listed above. The only drawback is that you are limited in terms of time to shooting either the two hours prior to the museum’s opening or the two hours after the museum closes. I’d say the benefits far outweigh those drawbacks though on this list of top spots for San Antonio engagements.
    • Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m or 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m or 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
    • $300 outdoor photo permit fee, FREE for contracted couples
      • Photo requests must be made two weeks in advance
    • No changing areas
    • Pet-friendly (on a leash)
    • Website

This is the most comprehensive list you will find on the internet for the top spots for San Antonio engagements. For every engagement location mentioned herein, there are probably four or five more. If you want to discuss all the opportunities and locations for your engagement session, get in contact with me. We can put together an engagement shoot that is super spectacular and meaningful to your relationship.

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About Ata-Girl

I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.

I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!

You can always call or text, but if you really want to get to know me, schedule a meetup!

I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journeys and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.

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I am a published author (purchase my book here), a podcast host (listen here) (watch here) and a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.

When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.